The world is slowly waking up. Consumers everywhere are becoming more and more concerned with the impact organisations and their products have on the environment. Even salons and spas are taking notice and incorporating environmentally friendly practices into their business. So the question is this: if you plan to open a beauty salon in Nigeria, why not make it green?
Green beauty salons are environmentally friendly or “eco-friendly” salons where both services and business practices aim to do no harm to the environment. This means: reducing waste that goes into the environment, using energy-efficient appliances and managing precious resources like water.
In general, all businesses stand to benefit from going green. First, by minimising waste and being careful with all your resources, you save money. Next, with the increasing demand for green products, you and your business will definitely stand out and have an edge over the competition. And finally, of course, you make a positive impact on the environment and preserve it for generations to come.
Ultimately, knowing how to set up a green beauty salon could be a fantastic business opportunity for any entrepreneur.
Steps For Opening A Green Beauty Salon
1. Write Your Business Plan
The business plan is the foundation of your business, but it doesn’t have to take too long to make. If you’re thinking of opening a salon, chances are you already have a mental plan of what your salon will look like, along with what kind of services you’d like to offer. Now it’s time to put this plan on paper.
A business plan answers these questions:
- What exactly is my business about?
- What services or products will I provide?
- How can I make my brand eco-friendly or green?
- When can I start to expect profit?
- What kind of clientele am I targeting?
- Who is my competition?
- How will I fund my business?
- How can I troubleshoot any problems that might come up?
If you prefer not to start from a blank sheet of paper when writing out your plan, free software like StratPlan and Enloop can help you get started. Fortunately, after reading this post, you’ll have a better understanding of what to consider in your green salon business plan.
2. Find The Funding
At this stage, you likely only have a rough idea of how much money you will need to open your new salon. Start-up costs can vary from ₦500,000 to ₦5 million, depending on the size of the salon. However, it is best to know where the money will come from.
You might decide to provide the capital for your business out of your own pocket or from private investors or even with a traditional bank loan, though this might be a bit more difficult.
Another option is to identify family members and friends who are willing to become sleeping partners. Sleeping partners invest money into a business but are not involved in the day-to-day running of the business, though they receive a share of the profits.
It’s worth noting that most entrepreneurs combine several of these funding options when launching their business. No matter what you choose, you should have a clear idea of exactly where money will come from before you go further.
3. Find A Great Location
The location you pick for your salon can make or break your business.
The ideal location for a beauty salon should be:
- Highly visible. In other words, it should be very easy to find.
- Easily accessible, so that clients do not have a hard time coming to the salon. Try to avoid setting-up your business where the roads are mainly pot-holes and dirt roads.
- A high-traffic spot, where a lot of passing vehicles and passers-by are to be found. So think: malls, grocery stores, and any other area where there is a lot of commercial activity going on.
- Far away from your competition! You really don’t want to set up a green salon right beside another salon, eco-friendly or not.
- In an area with a steady source of water
- In an area with a good power supply. Later we’ll get into how to power your green beauty salon in an eco-friendly way. Still, avoiding locations with limited electricity supply is best. This way, you rely on using your generator less, you save money on petrol or diesel and you reduce toxic fumes released into the surroundings.
Summary: find an easily accessible area with high traffic and you’ll have steady stream of customers.
4. Eco-Friendly Beauty Services
This is one place you get to show off your creativity. Once you’ve figured out what types of beauty services and products you would like to provide at your salon, you could make every single one of them eco-friendly. Your business will stand out dramatically amongst the competition and reduce the harm done to the environment.
Common beauty salon services include pedicures and manicures, facial treatments, hair braids, hair perms, haircuts, and so on. Two things that differentiate a green beauty salon from one that is not so green, are simply the kind products used and how waste is disposed of.
Eco-Friendly Beauty Products
To run a beauty salon, you would need to get shampoos, relaxers, hair extensions, and dyes. To run a green beauty salon, however, you need to find products that were manufactured with eco-friendly materials and in an environmentally friendly way. For example, you could focus on using hair or facial products with recyclable packaging. Some of these products are packaged using less plastic than usual or with biodegradable materials.
If this is not possible, you could also look into buying products whose containers can be cleaned and refilled. Refilling always costs far less than buying brand new products every few weeks.
In addition, you can sell these green products to customers who care about the environment the way you do! This is a fantastic way of maximising your profit while also reducing the amount of waste that goes into the environment.
Proper waste disposal is relevant in every part of your beauty salon. It is best to set up a good recycling system; organise any glass, plastic, or paper waste. Some of your recyclable waste can even be sold to recycling plants. By doing this, you make extra money and keep excess waste out of the environment.
5. Figure Out Your Electricity Source
One of the main reasons that new businesses fail in Nigeria is the power or electricity shortage. Since there is a lack of reliable electricity, most businesses turn to generators powered by fossil fuels like petrol or diesel. Although generators are useful machines, they cough out toxic fumes and can quickly become very expensive. In fact, according to the Rural Electrification Agency, Nigerian businesses spend up to a whopping ₦14 billion on their generators every year!
Apart from setting up your salon in an area with at least semi-reliable electricity, it might be wise to look into a more sustainable source of power, like solar energy: energy from the Sun.
Did you know that the International Renewable Energy Agency has stated that the cost of solar energy is falling rapidly? Installing solar panels will require an upfront investment but will pay off in the long run. You’ll enjoy reduced electricity bills and use up to 96-98 % less energy than you were with fossil fuels.
6. Practice Resource Management
When it comes to resource management, save thousands of Naira by going paper-free. Things like invoices, receipts, and vouchers can be shared electronically over email. Save your paper use for making flyers and posters when advertising your salon.
Next, going into more depth, you can be wise about your water and energy use too!
Managing water is part of being sustainable i.e. managing scarce resources in a responsible way. You might have a privately owned water-pumping machine installed or choose to pay companies to deliver water. Whatever the source of your water, it is important to manage it.
One good way of doing this is by installing water recycling systems that allow you to re-use rinse water after it has been cleaned. Another solution is to have a plumber regularly check on your taps, pipes, and showerheads to make sure there is no slow leakage. Following this particular step can save you thousands of gallons of water a year.
Managing your energy consumption is as simple as turning off lights and appliances when they are not in use. However, you can go further by investing in LED light bulbs. A quality LED bulb costs only a little more than more typical bulbs but uses 50% less energy and lasts up to 50,000 hours – around five years. Over a period of five years, you can expect to save hundreds of thousands of Naira on bulbs.
In addition, energy-efficient air conditioning and salon appliances such as hair driers and curling irons can be found for a reasonable price online.
7. Get Some Eco-Friendly Decor
Okay, so it’s time to buy furniture for your beauty salon. Instead of getting brand new furniture for your salon’s waiting room, why not get some furniture recycled or used-like-new? Not only does this mean that you are personally responsible for reducing the waste in the environment, but you are saving money too!
Also, it is just as cost-effective to find eco-friendly decorations. When it comes to painting your salon, look into using VOC-free or low-VOC paint. VOCs are “volatile organic compounds” and they can cause serious health issues especially for those with respiratory illnesses. Silk Coat Nigeria, for example, produces some good low-VOC paints. You could also put up some great recyclable art and posters. Be creative!
8. Hire Great Staff
Be sure to interview and hire people who are friendly, professional, and down to adopt your eco-friendly goal. You and your staff can organise fun, green events to raise awareness about environmentally friendly options you have at your salon. Trust me, your customers will take notice.
Go the extra mile and post pictures of these small events on your website or on your social media pages. You’ve done the work, now you get to show potential clients and the rest of the world how your new beauty salon is making the world a better place.
With these steps you are well on the way to setting up a strong business plan and opening your own green beauty salon!
Did you know that Entrepreneurs.ng offers highly personalised one-on-one business consulting? We can craft your entire business plan on a single sheet of paper and help you maximise your profits with proven strategies. Get in touch with us for more information!
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